Westview's Uzoekwe wins Track Athlete of the Year
From relative obscurity to certified superstar, Westview senior-to-be Colleen Uzoekwe enjoyed a junior season that can only be described as a blue-and-red bombshell.
Thanks to a take-no-prisoners workout routine that involved a rather jarring welcome-to-the-weight-room winter and enough sprint repeats to turn legs to rubber, Uzoekwe was a one-woman spectacle for the Wildcat girls track and field team. She morphed from promising clay with inherent athletic traits to an all-around athlete that took the Class 6A scene by true storm. As a sprinter, nobody could catch the lanky, yet muscular and explosive long strider. She won 6A titles in the 100-meter dash and the 200, making her the fastest girl in the state on top of taking Metro League titles both said events. Her supple athleticism carried over the jumps too, where she won a state crown in the high jump. Uzoekwe completely took over the 6A meet, putting on a show for the rain-drenched fans who were rewarded for sitting in the late May downpour.
A breakthrough track and field campaign for Uzoekwe is complete with prep track and field hardware. Uzoekwe was crowned the Prep Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year in June by the Oregon Sports Awards voting panel. The vote took place less than a month after Uzoekwe scored the most points (38) of any athlete from all classifications at the OSAA Track and Field Championships. Uzoekwe is the first Wildcat to win the award, which was added to the Oregon Sports Awards in 2012.
Uzoekwe burst onto the scene this spring as one of the state's most versatile track and field athletes. Uzoekwe did both sprints and jumps for the Wildcats, focusing on the 100m, 200m, long jump and high jump. She notched top all-classification marks in all four events.
Uzoekwe is the first three-time state champion in school history and the seldom-seen star who crossed over into both track and field. Uzoekwe will have a huge picture of herself plastered on the wall of the Westview weight room, according to head coach Rebecca Martin, for essentially running the 6A state meet. It's an apt spot for such an honor, considering Westview's palatial weight room is where Uzoekwe wielded her state championship greatness. It's crazy to think where Uzoekwe could end up in less than a year from now. For all her feats, there's an untapped ceiling that Uzoekwe is still seemingly a long ways off from hitting. It's feasible the rising Wildcat senior defends all three of her first-place medals successfully, adds another in the high jump and closes out her high school career with seven state championships in just two true seasons. She came out of nowhere but still has so much more she can do. Becoming a heptathlete in college would likely be a great avenue to pursue for a specimen who can seemingly accomplish anything in the track and field realm.
Her season-bests in the long jump (18-11.75 feet) and high jump (5-8.25 feet) were tops in the state. Uzoekwe's personal records in the 100m (11.86 seconds) and 200m (24.90 seconds) ranked third and fifth in the state, respectively. Uzoekwe placed first in the 100m, 200m and 300m at the 6A Track and Field Championships. She was second in the high jump to fellow Prep Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year finalist Maddie McHone (Centennial). North Valley's Baylee Touey was the third finalist for the award. Uzoekwe's accounted for all but five of Westview's points scored at the state meet to lead the team to a sixth-place finish. She swept all four aforementioned events at the Metro League Championships in May and notched 23 first-place finishes for the Wildcats. Uzoekwe was also a member of a Wildcat 4x400 relay team that posted the state's third-fastest time (3:57.71) at the Nike Twilight Jesuit Relays on May 3. She has competed in USATF and club track meets this summer and says her junior season piqued the recruiting interest of college coaches. Uzoekwe says she was not actively recruited before the start of the outdoor season but she'll surely have her share of potential suitors before the end of next season in 2020.
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